The RCVS Mind Matters Initiative has awarded £40,000 to two research projects, one looking into moral injury and the other at racial discrimination in the veterinary profession.

For those not familiar with the term, moral injury is the damage to your conscience when you witness, perpetrate or fail to stop an event which conflicts with your moral beliefs. The study looking into this phenomenon in the veterinary profession is being conducted at King’s College London by Professor Neil Greenberg (pictured right), Dr Dominic Murphy and Dr Victoria Williamson, who will investigate the types of moral injuries veterinary professionals might encounter, their prevalence, the perceptions amongst professionals around how these moral injuries come about, and what support is needed when they occur.

The second project, titled 'Experiences of racism and its impacts on mental wellbeing in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people working and studying in the UK veterinary profession' is being conducted by the Royal Veterinary College and British Veterinary Ethnicity & Diversity Society. As well as gathering information about experiences of racism and their impact, the project will also determine what individuals from the BAME veterinary community think could, and should, be done to tackle racism in the veterinary professions, and gather the evidence to help design appropriate interventions for those whose mental health and wellbeing is impacted by racism and discrimination. 

Professor Susan Dawson, Chair of the Mind Matters Initiative, said: “Though it was a tough decision to choose the recipients of this year’s grants as all the applications were of a high standard, these two stood out because they are investigating two issues that we know are there, but which we don’t yet have the evidence-base for to really determine their prevalence, their impact and how we, as a profession, can tackle them more effectively. 

“They also stood out for being solutions-focused in that the evidence will be used to find the best interventions and support mechanisms for those whose mental health has been impacted by racism and moral injury. We would like to congratulate the two research teams and look forward to working with them over the coming years.”

Have you suffered from moral injury or racism in the veterinary profession? Come and discuss here.

PS: Whilst you're here, take a moment to see our latest job opportunities for vets.